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Facts & Figures: Health Inequity Among Rural Minorities

Remote Chance: Health Care in Rural America, a digital-first series of short films by award-winning filmmaker Elizabeth Arledge, made possible by

Higher Cancer Rates Among Rural Black Americans

African Americans are the largest rural minority. Despite federal health programs, Black adults in rural areas of the United States have a higher mortality rate from several chronic health conditions than white adults and higher cancer rates than other rural residents.

Rural African Americans also have higher rates of disease than urban African Americans. Minorities, in general, have less access to healthcare, and living in an area that doesn’t have easy access to healthcare can exacerbate this issue.

Increased Mental Health Risks Among American Indian/Alaska Natives

For hundreds of years and into the present, American Indians and Alaska Natives have endured traumatic events resulting from colonization. They and their communities continue to experience repercussions (i.e., historical trauma) from these events.

When you view the larger picture, historical trauma appears to contribute to various problems, including socioeconomic effects, problematic behaviors, and, especially, various mental and substance use disorders.

High Suicide Rates Among American Indian/Alaska Natives

American Indian/Alaska Natives (AI/AN) have the highest rates of suicide of any racial/ethnic group in the United States. The suicide rate among AI/AN has been increasing since 2003, and in a 2015 study, AI/AN suicide rates were 3.5 times higher than other racial/ethnic groups with the lowest rates.

About the Series

Remote Chance: Health Care in Rural America is a series leading to the upcoming 2023 documentary Critical Condition: Health Care in Rural America (WT), a production of Gurney Street Films and WETA Washington, D.C. Produced, directed and written by Elizabeth Arledge.

Support for Remote Chance: Health Care in Rural America provided by the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI).

Related Series & Films is a mental health resource, not a crisis or suicide response website. If you are in crisis, or experiencing thoughts of suicide, please text the Crisis Text Line (text HELLO to 741741), or call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255). Both services are free and available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.